Unity has been a major theme thus far in the book of Ephesians. The great mystery of Jew and Gentile being brought together through the blood of Christ has finally become a reality, but Paul realizes that many believers would have objections to worshipping beside people of distinct heritage. Paul reveals that one of the key factors in finding unity is in those who are spiritually mature equipping others in love. First , Paul lets his readers know that “to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” meaning He is responsible for dispensing these gifts (4:8-10). In verse 11 he mentions four spiritual gifts: apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors/teachers. This list is not exhaustive (see Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-10; 1 Peter 4:10 for more gifts) but Paul gives the ones which pertain to the subject at hand – unity. Although evangelists and pastor/teacher are the only offices which still exist in our church age, these offices served two purposes: to equip and edify (4:12). Equipping carries the idea of providing the necessary tools to arrive at a finished product. In this case, the word of God was faithfully taught by these leaders to assist the church in developing a Christian worldview, mainly unity in diversity (4:13). Edifying carries the idea of strengthening and encouraging those within the church. When people use their gifts properly, believers should benefit by remaining strong in doctrine, avoiding deceitful teachings (4:14), and growing in love(4:16). God always does His part in providing the resources needed for accomplishing His purposes (spiritual gifts), but it is up to us to use them for His benefit. May we discover the gifts God has given to us and use them to bring glory to Him alone!
Dear God, help me to do my part in using the gifts You’ve given me to equip and edify the church.